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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 17, 2020 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the world health organisation warns the alarming rates of coronavirus transmission in europe must serve as a wake—up call. although these numbers reflect a more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates of transmission across the region. coronavirus cases are on the rise in france, as doctors warn that hospitals are filling up. it's 47 days until the us presidential election. we report from north carolina, where some people are already voting by mail because of the pandemic. supporters of the russian opposition campaigner alexei navalny, say traces of novichok were found on a bottle in the hotel in siberia
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where he was staying. massive forest fires in the arctic circle. we have a special report on the blazes moving across siberia. we start with coronavirus and figures from the world health organization showing that new weekly coronavirus cases in europe now exceed those reported when the pandemic first peaked in march. the un body has also warned of alarming rates of transmission across the region. it came as the uk government announced almost 3&00 new infections on thursday. to help prevent the spread of the virus, almost two—million people living in the north—east of england will be subjected to tougher restrictions from friday. spain recorded almost 5,000 new infections in 2a hours,
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up from just over 3,000 the previous day. almost 2000 were in the madrid region, which is planning targeted lockdowns. and in france 10,593 cases were recorded on thursday — the highest single—day count since the pandemic began. we'll have a report from our correspondent in marseille, a new french virus hotspot in a moment. but first, let's hear from the who's regional director for europe who says the figures are heading upwards and it's time for action. in the spring and early summer, we were able to see the impact of strict lockdown measures. our efforts, our sacrifices paid off. injune, cases hit an all—time low. the september case numbers, however, should serve as a wake—up call for all of us. although these numbers reflect more comprehensive testing, it also shows alarming rates
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of transmission across the region. well two of france's biggest cities — lyon and nice — have been told they must come up with new measures to stop the spread of coronavirus by saturday. and in marseille — at the epicentre of this new wave of infections — doctors say hospital wards in the city are now nearing doctors say hospital wards of intensive care beds are still available. lucy williamson reports from marseille's main hospital — a warning there are images you may find distressing. marseille's main intensive care unit has become a changing room again. familiar routines resurrected for a new wave of covid patients. this time, it's a 65—year—old man on life support. they're putting a camera down his throat, one of the riskiestjobs. the ventilators on their suits purify the air inside their masks. these are the patients‘ only visitors. his wife calls for news
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once or twice a day. she's not allowed in to see him. now it's becoming very disturbing because we are split between the desire to treat the patient, of course, as best as possible, and also to treat non—covid patients in the appropriate way. that is, to find icu beds, to have surgery, to manage trauma patients and so on. so, it's very difficult to manage. marseille is the epicentre of france's new covid crisis. the director of public hospitals here says the system is nearing saturation, with only a handful of intensive care beds left and 100 extra staff recruited in the past week. this icu, marseille's biggest, is now almost full. the nightmare for units like this one is a sudden rise in the rate of infections. this hospital is sending two covid patients to intensive care each day. a sudden spike would overwhelm them.
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rates of infection in marseille are now twice that of paris. 0ver10% of those tested here are positive. at this centre today it was first come, first served, but getting a test isn't always easy. this woman told us she'd had symptoms since monday. translation: it's a panic, a real panic. it's stressful. there are no appointments available on the government's testing website and the doctor's website tells me there's nothing until the end of september. the government admitted today there were bottlenecks in major cities, despite a new system that is meant to prioritise care workers and those with symptoms or contact with cases. testing. groups larger than ten are now banned from beaches and parks. the price of a post—lockdown summer when thousands mingled here together.
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a summer that swapped isolation for infection, now sending its waves out across france. lucy williamson, bbc news, marseille. the uk is preparing to impose the biggest regional lockdown yet, with tougher restrictions on socialising coming into effect in one hour's time in the north—east of england. these latest measures mean across the uk as a whole, more than 9 million people are now under some form of stricter lockdown. our special correspondent ed thomas reports. hello? hello, grandma, just to speak to you about the new lockdown rules and see what you think about it. lives are about to change once again. horrible, i'd onlyjust started going out a little bit. that's what coronavirus cases had been rising since late august and today 2 million people were told today they will now be living by new rules.
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the health secretary applies the brakes. data says we must act now so we can control the virus and keep people safe. this means a ban on people mixing and pubs closing at ten o'clock. why has it come down to hospitality? why have we got to pay for people not following the rules? to bring cases down. but will it do that? because people can't come out with their friends, only households, pubs won't survive, pubs will just not survive. isolating people in and outside the home isjust crazy. sean has just reopened his barber is now he is checking on his grandmother. i won't be able to see my grandchildren and great—grandchildren. you will go and see your grandmother?
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yes, that's a massive distance. even if it is against the rules? yes, because she needs it. gets us but i don't even most here support the ban, but still there is confusion and worry. closing the pubs at ten o'clock as if the virus isn't existing any time prior to them closing. move to northumberland, and it is a quieter pace of life, with fewer cases of coronavirus, but the same rules apply here. and once again, three generations of this family will be apart. how much do you rely on your support from your mum? i'm a single parent. massively, she is a great support system for me. so midnight tonight, everything changes. i know, again. it's not ideal. i don't know why we have been included, no. but then, what can we do? nothing. it's awful because i'm so close
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but i can't see them. i don't even want to think about it yet. the heart of the student area of newcastle bars and restaurants will close at 10p tomorrow, and the fee is as students return the virus will come with them. what you think about the new restrictions? i don't think they will make any difference and i don't and protect the most vulnerable. ed thomas, bbc news, newcastle. and in spain... authorities are set to reveal details tomorrow about localised lockdowns in madrid — where more than 16—hundred new cases have been reported in the last 2a hours. and as our reporter freya cole explains, the poorest neighbourhoods in both the capital, and barcelona are suffering the most. it's the final hazy days of summer in spain, but for health workers
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they hardly caught a break from the pandemic which is flavouring up again. since restrictions were lifted in latejune, infections have risen in spain from a few hundred a day, to thousands. madrid's working—class neighbourhoods have the highest volume of new outbreaks. many people don't have the luxury of sick leave or a place to self—isolate. it's a problem, authorities say, that needs to be addressed. translation: i must tell the people of madrid that the situation in our region is not good to. in reality it is getting much worse, and we are going to need to make more effort. it's a similar picture in barcelona. people in working class areas line up for a test, but there are fears about the consequence. translation: if a woman has a job off the books, tests positive, she will have to leave and could lose thatjob for good.
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so if an entire family depends on that income, it makes sense that people are afraid. translation: i think it's very important that tests are done to identify the ace of demented cases, but it is true that not everyone is coming here because they could lose theirjobs. like in many countries around the world, the pandemic in spain is creating deep divides. and as the outbreaks worsen in the poorest neighbourhoods, it's evidence that the virus does not treat everyone equally. freya cole, bbc news. because of the pandemic — more americans are planning to vote by mail than ever before. and millions of americans are already able to cast their votes in the election. we've been in the key battleground state of north carolina — where the first ballots were sent
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to voters nearly two weeks ago, making it the first in the nation to vote. welcome to new hanover county in wilmington. in this affluent suburb which typifies the american dream, voting by mail is the new front line in the battle for the white house. this election is under way and kathryn hedgepeth of the league of women voters already has her ballot paper. i have asthma, so i am somewhat physically compromised. knowing that i have a way to vote without being in a crowded place that makes me uncomfortable is very, very encouraging. these mail trucks in wilmington are going to be working overtime this election season. north carolina is one of many american states that have expanded early voting because of coronavirus. and here in the swing state, hundreds of thousands of people have already requested absentee ballots. the mailbox is becoming a ballot box, and it's democrats who are asking for the most absentee ballots — over 12,000 so far in this key swing county of new hanover
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compared to about 4000 republicans. democratic party chair richard allen poole says it's a lot to do with president trump. republicans see him discouraging people from voting by mail and they're not doing it. i think there may be certainly the opposite thing with democrats. "if he thinks that he doesn't want us to do it then well, "gosh, maybe we should!" do you have any concerns about whether the us postal service will be able to cope with the volume of mail given the worries there have been about this postal service? at christmas time every year, they deliver 1 billion christmas cards. you think they can't handle a couple hundred million ballots? i think they can do that. how many would you like? i'd like five, please. republicans here are banking on enthusiasm for the president leading to record numbers voting in person hoping their traditional approach to campaigning will overcome the democrats' early advantage in voting by mail. if you look at the numbers, really, democrats and independents have been the people that have gotten the most
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absentee ballot requests. so, republicans are trying to put a dent in their but they haven't really caught up. is it making it hard for you to push republicans to vote early by mail because the president is suggesting there could be a lot of electoral fraud? so, you do get some of that. all this interest in the election delights kathryn hedgepeth, a long—time advocate for voters rights. she's still deciding when to cast her vote. i feel like this is an important election for us. i have some issues that i'm really concerned about — climate being one of them. response to the virus being another. those are key issues for me that i want to hear clearly, from candidates, what they're going to do about it. the immense interest in voting by mail raises many questions, like, will we even know the result on election night? but when so much right now is clouded, one thing's crystal clear. voters on both sides are engaged
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and ready to be heard. supporters of the russian opposition leader said he was likely poisoned. this is at the nerve agent novichok was found on a bottle in his hotel room, i think he was targeted at the airport. our correspondent has been following the story in moscow. explains the risks to his supporters to retrieve evidence from the hotel room. talking about the precautions, alexei navalny‘s followers were very brave they only had facemasks and gloves. which they had because of covid—19. they did not have any special equipment at all. but they were very keen on keeping all possible elements with them and not letting the hotel administration or police
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to take it away because at that time, they were pretty sure that russian investigations or any russian police they would not conduct an investigation on the poisoning. that is why they decided to do it themselves. they took all they could from the room where alexei navalny stayed and that is what happened. they were not sure about what they were looking for. ok, thank you very much for that update. stay with us on bbc news, still to come. we'll find out how this — the traditional maori art form poi — could help our long—term mental health post—covid. 30 hours after the earthquake that devastated mexico city, rescue teams still have no idea just how many people have died.
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one day there is people alive, and there is people not alive. we just can help and give whatever we got. a state funeral has been held for princess grace of monaco at the church where she married prince rene 26 years ago. it looked as though they had come to fight a war but their mission is to bring peace to east timor, and nowhere on earth needs it more badly. the government's case is being forcefully presented by monsieur badinter, the justice minister. he's campaigned vigorously for abolition having once witnessed one of his clients being executed. bells ring elizabeth seton spent much of her time at this grotto and every year, hundreds of pilgrimages are made here. now that she's become a saint, it's expected that this area will be inundated with tourists. the mayor and local businessmen regard the anticipated boom as yet another blessing of saint elizabeth.
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this is bbc news, the latest headlines. the world health organisation warns the alarming rates of coronavirus transmission in europe must serve as a wake—up call. unprecedented wildfires have been burning along the arctic circle for months now — releasing record amounts of greenhouse gases. scientists say the fires across siberia, fuelled by abnormally high temperatures, are contributing to global warming. our correspondent steve rosenberg and his production crew are the first foreign team to be allowed into the remote yakutia region, in north eastern russia, to gauge the effects of climate change, both on local communities and on the planet. in siberia, they call their forests the lungs of the planet. if that is true, our planet is in big trouble. we were given a bird's eye view of a climate emergency.
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from the air, siberia's forest fires look like armageddon. a heatwave has been fuelling them and they are releasing record amounts of carbon. and because of the vastness of siberia, fighting them is incredibly difficult. this region alone, yakutia, is 13 times the size of britain. what's happening here in siberia has consequences for the whole world. scientists believe these forest fires are producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases that are changing the climate of the planet. russia has one fifth of the world's forests. if they are burning, the fallout is global. for a closer look, we switch transport and head into the siberian
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forest with the rangers. it is slow going. this is a real siberian forest path. not easy to get down, it will take us a while to get to the fire. but we are on the right track. it soon becomes clear that fire has swept through here, destroying larch and silver birch and turning parts of this fairy tale forest into a wasteland. when we catch up with the flames the forest rangers do their best with what they've got. but no sooner is one fire out...
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..another sparks. it is siberia's equivalent of a david versus goliath. this ranger says it is getting hotter here every year. he is spending more and more time in the forest. translation: i spend nearly all my summers now fighting fires. my wife and three kids awaiting for me at home. but this is a job i must do. for the planet, there is a double danger here. the burning you can see is producing c02, but also underground, fire is thawing the frozen soil or permafrost, releasing even more greenhouse gases. the impact of coronavirus on global health services
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